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What I Learned This Week – 1/31/16

Adult coloring books are all the rage right now. Tiny little lines for intricate coloring. Seems more stressful than relaxing to me. I prefer my Hello Kitty coloring book any day.

This week I learned a new meaning to “adult coloring.”

Get your mind out of the gutter.

My asbestos friend the soon-to-be famous author bought a pair of white tennis shoes and decorated them with words using Sharpies.

Now, I instantly thought:

  1. What a great idea!
  2. What a waste of (a) canvas.

I love to write, but I also love to draw. When presented with a blank canvas and a rainbow of markers, my mind automatically goes to all the cool pictures and designs that I could create.

So, I totally stole her idea and decorated up a pair of shoes for myself. My son urged me to leave some white space, but I just couldn’t do that. I covered them in colorful doodles of whatever fell into my brain. Which, of course included Punky Brewster, the Wienermobile, and the logos for my website and book series.

My decorated shows-the front!

My decorated shows-the front!

My decorated shoes-the back!

My decorated shoes-the back!

I have been daydreaming about living in a little pink shack in Hawaii lately. There is a picture I love by Hawaiian artist Holly Kitaura. I did my own representation on my shoes. (Don’t worry. They are just for me. I won’t sell them or make any money off of them.) I wanted to put Stitch on (as in Lilo &), but I forgot to.

Rainbow Hale by Holly Kitaura

Rainbow Hale by Holly Kitaura

I had many more important adult responsibilities to attend to on a gloomy Sunday, but I was drawn to work on the shoes until they were done. It is very possible that the Universe was sending me a message that I needed to take a breather. I’m glad I did.

My decorated shoes-the insides

My decorated shoes-the insides!

My decorated shoes-the outsides

My decorated shoes-the outsides!

I wonder if anyone would notice if I wore them to work. And would I rather no one noticed so that I wouldn’t get into trouble, or that they did notice because they are that awesome?

Follow the romantic entanglements of The Riley Sisters in my books:
The Wind Could Blow a BugAVAILABLE NOW!
When You Least Expect It NEW RELEASE!
Be Careful What You Wish ForANNOUNCEMENT TOMORROW!

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Secret Hiding Spot (For Mommy Only!)

I recently redecorated most of the upstairs of my house. I turned what used to be a craft/hobby room into a train station bedroom for my son. You can see pictures here: https://imnotstalkingyou.com/2015/08/05/ms-train-station-bedroom-my-new-upstairs/

But I didn’t stop there.

I also repainted the area (landing?) at the top of my stairway that used to be a heinous beige pink and had been driving me crazy for years.

I was sooo happy with the changes I made. My only regret was not having done them earlier.

But, well, in this shuffle, items that used to be in about four rooms was moved into three. When all was said and done, my husband decided to turn the old nursery into a “man room.”

This left me with a bedroom upstairs filled with my hoarders delight of boxes of crafts and paperwork. What was the first thing I did in the room?

I made a secret hiding spot. Just for me. So that no one could find me. Not my son. Not my husband. Not even my dog.

I put up a three-paneled screen (that I have had for years and had no idea what to use it for) to block off the rest of the room that was still cluttered with boxes. It has a window for sunlight and fresh air, a mini alter with colorful stones and tarot cards, and a fairy garden. Best of all, it has a hidden corner with pillows to read or nap.

Secret hiding spot by the window

Secret hiding spot by the window

When I am really stressed (if I remember), I can run to my corner and just chill out for a few minutes. I actually have fallen asleep in there a few times.

My husband takes my secret hiding place as some sort of insult. But I pointed out that he heads out to the garage for house to tinker with stuff. That is his spot. I just wanted a little spot to myself. Just one problem with the secret hiding spot…

Secret hiding spot reading corner

Secret hiding spot reading corner

There are toys left there that are not mine. The blanket will look as if a dog made a nest out of it. And when I am there, sometimes a man who looks suspiciously like my husband will come and assault me with real life.

The son found it. The husband found it. Even the dog found it.

I guess the best secrets are very hard to keep…

I heard the latest trend was “she sheds.” Hmmm… Maybe I will have to get me one of those.

Follow the romantic entanglements of The Riley Sisters in my books:
The Wind Could Blow a Bug – AVAILABLE NOW!
When You Least Expect It NEW RELEASE!

Cracking Nuts

I asked for two things for Christmas this year. And I was so happy to get them both.

Works of Ahhh... Nutcracker Prince kit

Works of Ahhh… Nutcracker Prince kit

One item was a Decorate-Your-Own-Nutcracker kit. A number of years ago, for some strange reason, I became very fond of nutcrackers as Christmas decorations. At one point, I even had a six foot tall nutcracker, but I had to kick him out of the house. He was always breaking everything.

You are such a pig!  Leaving nut shells all over the floor...

You are such a pig! Leaving nut shells all over the floor…

I debated how to personalize my little hunk of wood. I am sharing the results with you here, honestly, because it seemed like a really easy blog post.

I present to you, Nutcracker Kid Rock.

I'm a pimp, you can check my stats.

I’m a pimp, you can check my stats.

Also, I wanted to give props to “Works of Ahhh…”, the makers of the kit. The nutcracker is a nice size for decorating, the paints cover in one coat, and the paint brushes are a nice enough quality to save for use on future artistic creations. The stickers included were useful, with details such as eyes and a mustache. The worst part of the project was the patience required to wait for paint or glue to dry before proceeding on to the next step.

It stinks that now that I have him all done and he looks so cool, I have to pack him away for next year. I will forget where I packed him among my dozen plastic storage boxes of Christmas decorations. I probably won’t lay eyes on him again for three years.

Now I am thinking it might have been fun to make a Hello Kitty nutcracker. Amazingly, that may be the one item that I have not seen her feline face plastered on.  Sanrio, get on that.

What was the other thing I wanted for Christmas, you ask? Here it is…

My first book, The Wind Could Blow a Bug is NOW AVAILABLE!

PURCHASE as a Paperback or eBook on Amazon.com TODAY.

What I Learned This Week – 5/18/14

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This week I learned that I am pretty desperate to get my son potty-trained.

I knew it would be a difficult process. It is a big part of why I didn’t want to have any kids. My mother is still shaming me to this day that it took me so long to be trained. (I think that should be on her, not me. But I digress…)

About 2 years ago, we bought my son a potty. We have casually tried to train him on and off since then. I will admit it. We are the reason he isn’t trained yet.

Here was the little potty when it was new.  I have no idea what ever happened to that blue lid.

Here was the little potty when it was new. I have no idea what ever happened to that blue lid.

In the last two weeks, we bared down, and have seen some success.

Then, well, we left for a few hours on Saturday morning. When we came back, a dog (Dave? Parker? Who knows.) had eaten the foam seat and the decorative vinyl that covers it off of the potty seat. The splash guard was also badly chewed. My husband instantly deemed the potty no longer usable. I wasn’t even sure that all the pieces we needed where still there. But upon closer inspection, they were.

The little potty after the dog(s) got ahold of it.

The little potty after the dog(s) got ahold of it.

[I think it must have been Parker who chewed up the potty. Dave might chew it up, but only Parker would eat the pieces. He has some unhappy poopy-time ahead.]

I cleaned it up and reassembled it. But by this time, my son was also convinced it was unusable. I admit, it was scary looking right after the dogs were finished with it. But I fixed it! Just use it, kid!

So, last night after my son went to bed, I decided to turn it into a Thomas & Friends potty. My kid is crazy-nuts for Thomas and all things train. Let’s hope this gets us on the right “track” again with potty-training. Lol.

The new & improved "Thomas" potty!

The new & improved “Thomas” potty!

James graphic

James graphic

Percy graphic

Percy graphic

I used acrylic craft paint, if anyone is interested. I hope that it will withstand gentle sponge cleaning. I was originally going to paint the seat, but decided that would receive too much wear. I think it came out pretty good, since I free-handed it with no plan. And the #1 stands for Thomas, and a reminder of what goes in the potty!

I also learned that I need a yellow paint pen, and a working red paint pen. That is why my detail colors do not match up exactly to for the Thomas characters. My son will notice, but hopefully he will still use the potty anyway!

My son said: Mommy! There are trains on my potty!
Me: That is so cool. Do you think you will use it today?
My son: Ummmmmmm….maybe a bit.
Me: A bit later?
My son: Ya…

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